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Selected 

Poems 

of 
Yone Mo^uchi 




II 



Glass.. BE.<^.^Jja» 
Book_. OsA'b . 



SKLECTI^D P0I':MS 



FROM WHO'S WHO 

Yone Noguchi ; Japanese poet ; Professor of p:nglish 
Literature in Keio University, Tokyo, Japan ; b. Tsushima, 
Aichi Province, 1875. Educ : Keio University. Lived in 
America, 1893 — 1904, with the exception of one year in 
London in 1903. In America he made friends with Joaquin 
Miller, the Californian poet, with whom he lived for three 
years. Twice visited China after he returned home ; in 
'^ ' 1-- ,^,^ i.-^fn n-rl at Macfdalen College, Oxford, on 

or five months, 
ERRATA . in 1914. Re- 

red on Japanese 

1897 ^"^ ^920 ; 

ican Diary of a 
Lstern Sea, 1903 
and 19 10; The Summer Clouds, 1906; The Pilgrimage, 
1909 and 191 2; Lafcadio Hearn in Japan, 191 1 and 1919 i 
Through the Torii, 19 14; The Spirit of Japanese Poetry, 
1914 ; The Spirit of Japanese Art, 191 5 ; The Story of Yone 
Noguchi, 191 5 ; Japanese Hokkus, 1920; Hiroshige, 1921 ; 
Japan and America, 192 1 ; many other books in Japanese 
language. 



Page 


Line 


For 


Read 


18 


15 


Eternty i 


Eternity 


35 


16 


unJerslland 


understar 


77 


9 


lotos 


lotas 




YoNK NooucHT r.Y Ali-'ko Fachu 



SELECTED POEMS 

OF 
YONE NOGUCHI 

SELECTED BY HIMSELF 




BOSTON 
THE FOUR SEAS COMPANY 

LONDON 
ELKIN MATHEWS 



192 1 






tboan (p b 



Printed in Japan 



In Memory 

of 

Basho, 

a Hokku Poet 

of the 

Seventeenth Centiirv 



FOREWORD 

I often wonder at the difference between the words of 
English Poets and the daily speech of common people ; and I 
think that it is not necessary to go to Milton or Dryden for 
the proof The poetical words used by Tennyson, Browning, 
Francis Thompson, and even Yeats, are certainly different 
from those spoken in the London streets or an English 
village shadowed by a church spire or darkened by dense 
foliage. But, on the other hand, how similar are the words 
of Japanese poets and those of the common people ! Is it 
that the Japanese poets, whether they be Uta poets or Hokku 
writers, are condescending to the common people ? Or is it 
that the common people of Japan are entering into the realm 
of poesy ? Or is it that our Japanese phraseology belongs to 
either of them, or does not belong to either of them, through 
its virtue of being neutral in nature ? 

Suppose a pensive young lady is standing by a veranda 
opened to the garden with blooming cherry trees, and her 
eyes are following the snow-white petals of cherry blossoms 
hastening to the ground. And suppose she murmurs with a 



X Foreword 

sigh, "Why do the flowers fall in such a fluny?" Now 
compare such an exclamation with the following Uta poem 
by Ki no Tomonori : 

** 'Tis the spring day 

With lovely far-away light . . • 

Why must the flowers fall 

With hearts unquiet ?" 

It is plain to see how the words of Japanese poets and 
common people join hands. This particular point is most 
worthy of notice in the discussion of the differences and 
similarities between the East and West in literature. 

It is said in the West that the poets are a race apart. 
The fact that our Japanese poets are not a race apart should 
be the very focus for a discussion of Japanese poets. While 
in the West the poets claim special regard and, indeed, im- 
mortality for themselves, we in Japan treat the poet as a 
natural phenomenon, as natural as a flower or bird. 

I admit that we Japanese as poets are lacking in creative 
power, and do not aim, like many Western poets, at becom" 
ing rebuilders of life. We are taught not to deal with poetry 



Foreivord xi 

as a mere art, but to look upon it as the most necessary 
principle along which our real life shall be developed. When 
we kneel before poetry, it is our desire to create a clarified 
pure realm where we can, through the inspiration of rhythm, 
arrange our own minds. And then we recognise the exist- 
ence of the compromising ground of passion, where we as 
members of society find our safety. What great uncom- 
promising creators of passion were Shelley, Byron, Browning^ 
and Swinburne ! They were so earnest in their desire for the 
recreation of life, and not afraid were they, when their desire 
reached its climax, even to risk reaching a condition of 
confused intricacy. They were indeed great and wonderful 
heroes. We cannot help thinking, on the other hand, what 
cowards the majority of Japanese poets have been. 

I respect that attitude of Western poets in wishing to 
rebuild or recreate their own lives ; and also I can well 
understand why they ascribe importance to their intellectual 
power. A great literary danger lies in this, of course, 
because there is nothing more sad and terrible for poets than 
to enslave themselves to intellect. 

But we have also our own literary danger. I mean that 



xii Foreword 

we often mistake a simple and cold morality for an art. I 
should like to know what is a more dangerous thing for poets 
than this sad morality. There are only a few Japanese poets 
who have failed from their abuse of moods and passions ; but 
we know so many cases wherein their poetical failure was 
quite complete under the stifling breath of conventional 
morality. This damage would not necessarily be below that 
inflicted by intellect ; it might be greater. We notice that 
the Western poets often attempt to discover a poetical theory 
even in the waving plaits of Apollo's robe and analyse 
intellectually a little cloud flying in the sky. Admitting that 
their poetical theory and intellectual power are doubtless 
great, I have no hesitation in declaring that it is they who 
harden, shrink, and wither their own art. It is true to say 
that they owe much to the matter of form for the great 
development of their epics and dramas. Also it is true that 
t he undeveloped form of Japanese poetry has given a mighty 
freedom for our poets to fly into an invisible spiritual 
d omain. We can say again that, if these poets both of the 
West and the East often stray into the field of non-poetry, it 
IS the result of their too close attachment to forms. 



Forezvord xiii 

Of course we want more passion and intellect in our 
Japanese poets, and also properly tempered patience and 
effort And at the same time we should hope that the 
Western poets would forget their passion and intellect to 
advantage and enter into the real poetical life born out of 
awakening from madness I have no quarrel with a critic 
when he applies the word '' mad " to his Western poets ; but 
we Japanese would be pleased to see and admire the rare 
moment when madness grows strangely calm and returns to 
its normal condition, and there we will find our own real 
poetry. Not the moving dynamic aspect of all the phenom- 
ena, but their settled still aspect inspired the Japanese poets 
—at least the Japanese poets of olden days — to real poetry. 
But I know that the times are changing when we must, I 
think, cultivate the really living dynamic life. And I am 
afraid, with many others, that such a new literary step may 
bring us into an unhappy compromise with Western litera- 
ture. Of course there are poets and writers both of the East 
and West who know only how to compromise. But, on the 
other hand, we have a natural-born Easterner, for instance, 
Wordsworth, in the West, and there may be a natural-born 



xiv FomvorJ 

WVstiMiUM- ill the I\.\st. who will briiii:^ the l\ast atul West 
toi;\^llior itUo true undcrstaiKiiiiL;-. not throiiL^h iaint-hcartetl 
conipromisc but by the real stivnL;tli oi inilcpciulcncc which 
alone knows the nioaniiii^ oi haiinon}-. 

To-<.1ay wc must readjust the ineanini^s ot* all thiuijs t^- 
Lfive a now iuierpretation to all the old meanings ; and we 
must soh'c the problem ot" lite and the work! (\on\ our real 
obedience to laws and knowledi^e that will make the inevitable 
turn to a liviuL^- soul;, and learn the true meaning;" of time from 
the ex'aneseence o\ psychical life ; then ouv human lives will 
become true M\d lix'iiiL^-. 

We must realise the ephemeral as^x:ct of moments when 
time moves, and also the still aspect of infinity when it settles 
down ; seek the meaniui;- oi moments out o( the bosc^n (^( 
intlnit)', and ai^^ain that ».^f intlnit\' IVimu the chani^iui;- heart o( 
moments — that is the secret oi real poetrw The moments 
that su^vrest the still as[>ect of intinitx' are accidental, therefore 
livin^:^ ; again the intinit\' that is nothing but another revelation 
of moments is absolute, theretbre quiet and full of strength 
and truth. The real poetry should be accidental and also 
absolute. Sec the river antl trees, see the smiling garden 



Fore7vord xv 

Howcrs, sec the breaking clouds of the sky. See also ihc 
lonely moon walking a precipitate pathless way through the 
clouds. The natural phenomena are, under any circum- 
stances, revealing both meanings of the accidentalism which 
is born from the absolute. When our great poets of Japan 
write only of a shiver of a tree or a fl(jwer, of a single isolated 
aspect of nature, that means that they are singing of infinity 
from its accidental revelation. 

The poetical attitude of Wordsworth v;as anarchical 
when, singing of the small celandine, daisy, and daff^idils, he 
gave even a little natural f)henomenon a great sense of dignity 
by making it a center of the universe, and broke the stupid 
sense of proportion by looking on things without discrimina- 
tion ; he was pantheistic, like nearly all Japanese poets and 
painters, because he was never troubled by any intellectual 
differentiation, and his clear and guileless eyes went straight 
into the simplicity that joined the universe and himself into 
one. His poetical sensibility was Very true and plain, and he 
gained a real sense of the depth of space, the amplitude of 
time, and the circle of the universal law, and made his life's 
exigency a new turn of rhythm. I am glad to think of 



xvi Forcu'ord 

Wordsworth as the first Easterner of Knorlish h'terature. 

1 do not know what one critic means wlien he calls 
Robert Bridges tlie father of the new poetry, unless he means 
that Bridc^es has re^^ained the artless bent of the poetical mind 
which was lost under the physical vulgarisation of the Mid- 
Victorian age, and that he has opened his honest eyes upon 
nature and life He, like our Japanese Uta or llokku poets, 
gazes on life's essential aspects. If the Japanese poets leach 
the Western [)oets anything, it is how to return to the most 
important feature of poetry after clearing awa\- all the debris 
of literature ; their expression is simple, therefore myterious 
in many respects ; as it is mysterious, it is vivid and fresh. 
There is nothing more wonderful than the phrase " Seeing 
poetry exactly ;" nobody who has never lived in poetry fully, 
claims to see its exact existence. And you cannot be taught 
how to live in it by reason or argument ; you must have a 
sense of adoration that comes only from poetical concentra- 
tion. 

The time is coming when, as with international politics 
w here the understanding of the Eiist with the West is already 
an unmistakable fact, the poetries of these two difkrciit worlds 



Foreword xvH 

will approach of one another anrl exchanj:,re their cordial 
greetings. If I am not mistaken, the writers of free verse of 
the West will be ambassadors to us. 

My acknowledgments are due to the editor of tlie Outlook, New 
York, for permission to reprint this e'-;8ay which has appeared in his 
pages. 



CONTENTS 

From " Seen and Unseen " 

What about my Songs ------ . . ^ 

Where is the Poet --------..._ ^ 

The l')esert of ' No More '-------- 5 

Seas of Ix)nclincss ----------- 5 

The Garden of Truth ---------- g 

T.ike a Paper lantern -- 9 

From " The Voice of the Valley " 

I flail myself as I do Homer --- i^ 

The Night Reverie in the Forest ------ 15 

Song of Day in Yosemite Valley ------ 20 

Song of Night in Yosemite Valley ------ 24 

b'rom " I'^rom the Eastern Sea " 

Apparition ------------- 29 

O Cho San -------- ^i 

Address to a Soyokaze ---------24 

Under the Moon ----------- ^7 

Hana San -_--_-_-^i 

The Myoto ------ .--.-..^^ 

The Cioddess : God ~ -------- ^ ^j 

Ry the Sea ------------- ^8 

1 lomekotoba -------------51 

Upon the Heights ------- ^ - - - 60 



XX 



rAOE 

The ?oct - - - - - - - 62 

The Viicc ill the Mirror --------- 5^^ 

I low near to l^iirylaiid -. --------67 

Twines - - - _ . _ 5^ 

Sprinp^ - - _ - - - 5(j 

From *' The Summer Clouds " 

Prose Poems ------------ .-^ 

From " The Pilgrimage " 

" rhe New Art ------------ 83 

By the luigakuji Tem[)le : Moon Night - - - 84 

To a Nightingale ------ ----- 86 

I am Like a lA:af ----------- 88 

To the Sunfl(.>wer ----------- 89 

Shadow -------------- g^ 

The F^antastic Snow-flakes ------- gi 

Ghost of Ab\ss - ~ ---------- g2, 

Autumn Song ------------ g^ 

Fantasia --- - - - - . - g^ 

The Temple Bell ----------- 97 

To the Cicada ------------ 98 

The I.-uly of Utamaro's Art - ------- 99 

The Buddha Priest in INIeditation ------ 100 

In the Inland Sea ----------- 102 

Kyoto ---------104 

My Little Bird ------------ 105 

Her Weapons are a Smile and a Little Fan - 107 



XXI 
PAGK 



My Heart ------- 108 

The Lotus Worshippers --------- roQ 

Lines --------------- 1 1 i 

The Eastern Sea ------------ n 2 

To a Sparrow- ------------114 

Right and Left ------------115 

In Japan Ikyond ---------.-116 

Cradle Songs ----- I18 

From " Japanese Ilokkus " 

Japanese Ilokkus --.. -- 123 



FROM ''SEEN AND UNSEEN" (1897) 



WHAT ABOUT MY SONGS 

The knovvn-unknown-bottonied gossamer waves of the field 
are coloured by the traveUing shadows of the lonely, 
orphaned meadow lark : 

At shadeless noon, sunful-eyed, — the crazy, one-inch butterfly 
(dethroned angel ?j roams about, her embodied shadow 
on the secret-chattering hay-tops, in the sabre-light. 

The Universe, too, has somewhere its shadow ; — but what 
about my songs ? 

An there be no shadow, no echoing to the end, — my broken- 
throated flute will never acrain be made whole ! 



WHERE IS THE POET 

The inky-garmented, truth-dead Cloud — woven by dumb 
ghost alone in the darkness of phantasmal mountain- 
mouth — kidnapped the maiden Moon, silence-faced, love- 
mannered, mirroring her golden breast in silvery rivu- 
lets : 

The Wind, her lover, grey-haired in one moment, crazes 
around the Universe, hunting her dewy love-letters, 
strewn secretly upon the oat-carpets of the open field. 

O, drama ! never performed, never gossiped, never rhymed ! 
Behold — to the blind beast, ever tearless, iron-hearted, 
the Heaven has no mouth to interpret these tidings ! 

Ah, where is the man who lives out of himself ? — the poet 
inspired often to chronicle these things ? 



THE DESERT OF ' NO MORE ' 

Until Nothing muffles over the Universe of No More, my soul 
lives with the god, darkness and silence. 

Ah, great Nothing ? 

Ah, the all-powerful Desert of No More ! — where myriads of 
beings sleep in their eternal death ; where the god dies, 
my soul dies, darkness dies, silence dies ; where nothing 
lives, but the Nothing that lives to the End. 

Listen to the cough of Nature 1 

After the cough, the Universe is silent again, my soul kissing 
the ever nameless idol faces of the Universe, as in a holy 
heathen temple. 



SI- AS oi' I o\i-i i\v\<;s 

I'tulorncwth the namvI <"olouic.\l sluuio o( the ttws. tny 'st'lt" 
fxisstxl as A da^wsy cloud into SvmuowIkmv. 

I stv nn soul tlivitiiv^ u^hmi the Kkc cM'tho dcvp. na\- the face- 
loss taco ot" the «.kvploss dcvp — 

Ah. the S<.Ms ot" l.oneliuess ! 

The i\\utt^\\a\iiv^ silence-\vatei"s. ever shoreless, bottomless 
heavet\less. colourless, have uvt shadow ot' my ^ussino 
s*.nil. 

Alas. I. without wisi^ioni. without foolishness, without i;ood 
ivs^. without Kidiicss. — am like Cnxl. a tici^ative L^od at 
least ! 

Is that a quail r> (.^v voice out ot* the back-hill juinjwl into 
the ocean ot* loneliness. 

A]as. what s^^^und res<nnuls ; what colour returns ; th>e bv^toni. 



Sens nf Loneliness 7 

the hc.'iv<.ii, too, rcapjicars! 
'llicrc is no pLicr: r>r inutcncss ! Yea, my j^aradisc is lost in 

this moment ! 
I want nfjt pKrasure, sadness, love, hatred, success, unsncccss, 

beauty, lijdiness on]y the mij.dity Xotliinr^ in No More. 



THE GARni<:N OV TRUTH 

Untimely frosts wrcatlio over the garden — tlie staid bottom 
were air the sea. 

Alas ! from her honeyed rim, frosts steal down like love- 
messengers from the 1 ^idy Mcxm. 

A light-walled corridor in Truth's palace ; a humanity-guard- 
ed chapel of Goii. where brave divinities knee!, small as 
mice, against the shoreless heavens, — the midnight 
garden, where m\' naked soul roams alone, under the 
guidance of Silence. 

The God-beloved man welcomes, respects as an honoured 
guest, his own soul and body, in his solitude. 

To ! the roses under the night dress themselves in silence, ami 
expect no mortal applaud, — content witli that of their 
voiceless Gcul. 



LIKE A PAPER EANTERN 

" Oh, my friend, thou wilt not come back to me this night f " 
I am lonely in this lonely cabin, alas, in the friendless 
Universe, and the snail at my door hides stealishly his 
horns. 
" Oh, for my sake, put fort Ji thy honourable horns / " 
To the Eastward, to the Westward ? Alas, where is Truth- 
fulness ? — Goodness ? — Light ? 
The world enveils me ; my body itself this night enveils my 

soul. 
Alas, my soul is like a paper lantern, its pastes wetted off 
under the rainy night, in the rainy world. 



FROM "THE VOICE OF THE VALLEY" (1898) 



13 



I HAIL MYSELF AS I DO HOMER 

The heart of God, the unpretending heaven, concealing the 

midnight stars in glassing the day of earth. 
Showers his brooding love upon the green-crowned goddess, 

May I^rth, in heart -lulling mirth. 
O Poet, begin thy flight by singing of the hidden soul in 

vaporous harmony ; 
Startle the lazy noon drowsing in the full-flowing tide of the 

sunbeams nailing thy chants in Eternity ! 
The melody breathing peace in the name of Spring, calms 

tear to smile, envy to rest. 
Ah thou, world of this day, sigh not of the poets who have 

deserted thee — aye, I hail myself as I do Homer ! 
Behold, a baby flower hymns the creation of the universe in 

the breeze, charming my soul as the lovcr-inoon ! 



14 / Hail Myself as I do Homer 

Yone, — a ripple of the \Qnity-\\'ater, a rain drop from the 

vanity-cloud, — lay thy body under the sun-enamelled 

shade of the trees, 
As a heathen idol in an untrodden path awakcninq^ in spirit 

sent by the unseen genius of the sphere ! 
The earth, a single-roomed hermitage for mortals, shows not, 

unto me a door to Death on the joy-carpeted floor — 
Aye, I call the once dead light of day from the dark-breasted 

slumber of night ! — 

1 repose in the harmonious ditTercnce of the divine Sister and 

Brother, — Voice and Silence in Time. 
O Yone, return to Nature in the woodland, — thy home, 

where Wisdom and Laughter entwane their arms ! 
Ah Cities, scorning the order of the world, ye plunder rest 

from night, paint day with snowy vice, — 
Alas, the smoke-dragon obscures the light of God ; the sky* 



/ Hail MyselJ as I do Homer 15 

measuring steeple speaks of discontent unto the Heaven ! 

() Yone, wander not city-ward — there thou art sentenced to 
veil tliy tears with smiles ! 

Behold, the eloiid hides the sins of the cities — regiments of 
redwood-giants guard the holy gates of the woodland 
against the shames ! 

Chant of Nature, O Yone, — sing thy destiny — hymn of dark- 
ness for the ivory-browed dawn — 

1^'hold, the deathless Deity blesses thee in silence from the 
thousand temples of the stars above I 



i6 



THE NIGHT REVERIE IN THE FOREST 

" Buy my tears tliat I sucked from the breast of Truth— 

tears, sister spirits of Heaven's smile ! " sobs the Wind. 
Thou pale Wind, tear-vender of the hideous night, no one 

welcomes thee with thy unsold tears ! 
Thou Gips}'-Wind, my fellow-w-anderer who fears light, cease 

thy plaintive strain of the sweet home ever lost ! 
" O Poet, sole midnight comforter, share my tears in thy 

heart ever tenanted by Autumn ! " 
Kiss me. Wind, to whom the gates of Spring never swing 

open, let us sleep under the weeping candle-star ! 
O Repose, whose bosom harbours the heavenly dream-ships, 

welcome me, an exiled soul ! 
Thou Forest, where Peace and Liberty divide tlieir wealth 

witli even a homeless convict. 



TJic Nig Jit Rei'crie in the Forest 1 7 

Ix^t me sleep in thy arm-boughs, safer far than a king's iron 

castle guarded by mortal power ! 
Lull thy guest to reverie, master-spirit of the forest, with thy 

solemn love tales of ancient gods ! 
Here Ease and Grandeur lodge in the forest's heart, where 

Time ever reveals his changeless youth. 
Five miles I travelled — the black-robed bird-monk had ended 

his last i)rayer, a good-night hymn ; 
Ten miles, — I lost the home window-light that bids. Sorrow 

and Tears depart like masterless dogs ; 
Twenty miles, — the eloping mother-moon had abandoned her 

child, my lonely soul. 
Thou Darkness, bewailing thy desertion by Light, I deplore 

my like fate, echoing thy saddest strain ! — 
PViend Night, my tears overflow from the love-fountain unto 

the sorrow-made dells I 



1 8 The Night Reverie in the I '\) rest 

I, an idle sinc^er, fleeinp^ from the world's shame, make a 
pilgrimat^c to an unknown land — O Heaven — or Hell ? 

Thou Silence, who never responds to mortal's voice, where 
is the secret door o( Paradise ? — S[ieak once unto me ! 

Star, thou radiant spirit of the blessed Ik^atrice who once 

guided a mortal unto Heavtii. brighten now my dark- 
some path ! 

I, a lone pilgrim, knock at tlie gate of Heaven — na}-, the 
silent castle of Repose — O Repose ! 

Rhyme on, Lady-Rivulet from th\' mountain Memnon, thy 
tunable song awakening mortals' \'anity-dn ams ! 

Ah, Nalvcdness ! Nakedness — to whom Shame and Pride are 
buried in the [XMceful tomb o'i Faith ! 

Ah. Loneliness ! Loneliness — to whom a boatman of God is 
the sole saviour on the vast Sea of Eternt}' i! 

1 repose imder the forest's arm-bough — if I awaken not 



The Night Reverie in the Forest 1 9 

forever, pray, brother mortal, 
Make my grave under the greenest grass and carve this line 
" Here sleeps a nameless Poet.^* 



20 



SONG OF DAY IN YOSEMITE VALLEY 

O thunderous opening of the unseen gate of solemn Heaven's 

Eternal Court ! 
Behold, clouds, tenants of the sky, sweep down from the 

Heavens unto a secret palace under the I^^irth ! — 
Aye, mighty Yosemite ! — a glorious troop of the unsuftering 

souls of gods 
Marches on with batde-sound against the unknown castle of 

Hell !— 
Aye, a divine message of Heaven unto Larth — the darksome 

house of mortals — to awake ! 
Hark — the heart-broken cry of a great Soul ! — 
Nay, the tempestuous song of Heaven's organ throbbing wild 

peace through the sky and land ! 
The Shout of Hell wedded to the Silence of Heaven completes 



Song of Day in Yosetniie Valley 21 

the Valley concert, forms the true symphony — 
The Female-light kissing the breast of the Male-shadow chants 

the sacred Union ! 
I, a muse from the Orient, where is revealed the light of 

dawn, 
Harken to the welcome strains of genii from the heart of the 

great Sierras — ■ 
I repose under the forest-boughs that invoke the Deity's 

hymn from the Nothing-air. 
Here, brother mortal, lies the path like Beauty's arm, guiding 

thee into the Heaven afar ! — 
Alone I stray by the mountain walls that support the 

enamelled mirror-sky, 
Enfolding my free-bom soul in the vice-purifying odours of 

the forest from an unknown corner of Paradise. 
Art thirsty? — here rolls the snow-robed water for thy 



22 S-'^S^ of Day in Yosemite Valley 

fulfillment ; 
Does dullness veil thee ? — here a stone chamber invites thee 

into the world of dreams through an unseen door. 
O return, brother mortal, from Samsara unto the great 

Valley ! 
Yea, the mighty Temple o{ the World, everlasting with the 

heaven and earth, welcomes thee ! 
Behold ! Yosemite, sermoning Truth and Liberty, battles in 

spirit with the Pacific Ocean afar ! 

unfading wonder, eternal glory ! I pray a redemption from 

the majesty that chains me — 
(Lo, Hell offers a great edifice unto Heaven !) O, I bid my 
envy and praise rest against thee ; 

1 am content in the sounding Silence, in the powerless Time 

that holds the Valley in the age of gold ; 
I proffer my stainful body and leprous soul with blackest 



Song of Day in Vosernite Valley 23 

shame unto thee ; 
I am united with the Universe, and the Universe with me. 
O hail, brother mortal ! the true joy is revealed unto thee — 
}3e thou a wave ebbing and flowing with the air of Heaven ! 
Behold ! The genii of the forest chant Peace unto the Lord 

from an unknown shrine in the Valley temple. 
O mighty chapel of God ! Thou knowest not an iron chariot 

stained with hostile blood ; — 
Aye, idle spears and foolish shields dare not ruin thee, 

proclaiming War in- Eternity ! 



24 



SONG OF NIGHT IN YOSEMITE VALLEY 

Hark ! The prophecy-inciting windquake of the unfathom- 
able concave of darkest Hell ! 
O, the God-scorning demon's shout against the truth-locked 

gate of mighty Heaven ! 
Heaven and Hell joining their palace and dungeon, remould 

the sinful universe to an ethereal paradise — 
O, the sphere is shaken by the Master-Mechanic working 

from the surface of the world to its center ! 
Alas, the sun has fled in saddest woe ! — O moital, breathe thy 

silent prayer unto mighty Yosemite for mirth ! 
Behold, the light of da\' loaves the white mansion to the care 

of dolorous night ! — 
The genii of the Valley fly from the roar of a thousand lions 

to the sacred peace above — 



So7io^ of Nig Jit in Yosemite Valley 25 

Lo, an unknown jeweller decks the black, velvety heaven with 

treasure-stars — 
Yea, the Mother-Goddess, mantling the earth with the night, 

forbids Yosemite disturb her baby-angel's dream in the 

heaven ! 
Hark ! the night disconcord of the eternal falling of waters 

sounding discontent throughout the earth — 
O, a chariot is rushing down to an unknown hollow in wild 

triumph ! 
l^hold, a dragon reveals divinity in the ghostly-odorous sky 

of night — 
Nay, the mighty sword of the Judgment Day blazes down the 

Heaven to the gate of Hell ! 



FROM "FROM THE EASTERN SEA" (1903) 



29 



APPARITK^N 

Twas mom ; 

I felt the whiteness of her brow 

Over my face ; I raised my eyes and saw 

The breezes passing on dewy feet. 

'Twas noon ; 

Her slightly trembling lips of passion 
I saw, I felt, but where she smiled 
Were only yellow flakes of sunlight. 

Twas eve ; 

The velvet shadows of her hair enforded me ; 
I eagerly stretched my hand to grasp her, 
But touched the darkness of eve. 



30 Apparition 

'Twas night ; 

I heard her eloquent violet eyes 
Whispering love, but from the heaven 
Gazed down the stars in gathering tears. 



31 



O CHO SAN 

Dream was in the soul of the garden brook, 

Spring in its song : O Cho San 

I xaned her down to face her image 

In the brook ; both smiled jn greeting. 

In sudden thought she looked behind ', 

The sadness of a midnight star 

Abode in her unmoving eyes ; 

The mists of silence filled the gate of her hps. 

The moments slipped by : the sunlight fell 

Over her face, as a golden message ; 

The kiss of beauty graced her hair ; 

The soft odour of womanhood beautifully rose ; 

The butterflies surrounding her forgot to part : 

She was in indolence. Slowly she 



32 O Cito San 

I^cgan a drcann- smile, silent 1\' lUcinjr 

Toward a calm sea of fancy : her smile 

Was that of an Aptil-ni^ht eheny-blossom 

To the wind. Softly she looked round and whisjiered : 

" At the return (.^i \\\\ lord I will thus smile. 

l\Iy sweet lover, when Anata shall return ! " 

.And smiling bnivel\' with a sweet intent, she said : 

" Look what a beautiful smiling O Clio San ! " 

Then much she blushed, and started up, and, with j sigh. 

lKL;an a languid, graceful walk along the path : 

1 ler walk was that o{ an afternoi»n breeze 

With the fragr.uice oi cherry-blossoms. 

The petals of the tlower, like buttertlies, 

Abrupt 1\' fell, some on her shoulders 

And her hair ; the brook gossipeti of Spring. 

She w alked .imid the solemn loveliness of eve : 



O Cho San 33 

And solitude and dreams were witli her soul ; 
I )ini poems rose around her like odours 
Unto the moon. She was beautiful as one 
Who smilinc^, enters in the gate of Sorrow : 
The earth upturned her melancholy face 
Toward the heavens tlie evening bell 
Tolled as the last song of a sea. 
*' Beloved ! l^-loved ! " she cried ; 
Her streaming eyes beheld a sileiU star. 



34 



ADDRESS TO A SOYOKAZE* 

O So\'okaze, 

V\\m\ tlic i^^oldcii bower o( the morniiii:^ sun. 
In c^raccfiilly loose i^^own, 

Your e\'es strewing the wealth of neral beauty 
That is half shadow, half ocKuir, 
Up with me. SoN'okaze ! 
I've left behiiul thc^ mental lo\'e, 
And all the books dear next to woman, 
l^p. up, and seek with me 
A thousand stars 
T.(vsl bewMid the skies! 
Sail afar with me, 

O Sox'okaze. on liL;ht-gleamin(T step : 
* ' Soyokaze ' is ' zephyr ' 'u\ Japanese. 



Address to a Soyokaze 35 

Sail into the garden strange yet my own ! 

I'll build there my home in the moonbeams, 

I'll gather the poems from the fiowers, 

And from the hearts of birds. 

Sail, sail, my Soyokaze ! 

When I am tired, 

We'll rest, my head on your shoulder, 

And I'll listen to your tales 

That you heard under the roses 

Passing through the woodland. 

When the tree throws its shadow on the ground 

(The shadow is its written song), 

And I see not its real meaning, 

You will instantly rise, 

And play the haqj of the leaves, 

Ajid make me fully understland. 



36 Address to a Soyokaze 

O beloved Soyokaze, 

My dear comrade, 

Be with my soul eternally 

Since I am sundered from the world. 

And am alone ! 



37 



UNr3ER THE MOON 

The autumn night had a sad impressive beauty. 

I turned my face as a flower, 

In indolence : the sweet mystery of indolence 

Whispered me an alien legend I, with lips apart, 

With the large mindless eyes, stood 

As one fresh from a fairy dream : 

The ecstacy of the dream was not yet dry 

On my face. The strangest stillness, 

As exquisite as if all the winds 

Were dead, surrounded me ; I idly thought, 

What a poem, and what love were hidden behind 

The moon, and how great to be beyond mortal breath, 

Far from the human domain. My moon-fancy, 

Aimless as a breeze of summer eve. 



38 Under the Moon 

Drowsy as a rose of Sjoring morning, has passed : 

My fancy was a fragrance as from an unknown isle 

Where Beauty smiled her favourite smile. 

How glad I was, being wounded by 

The beautiful rush of yellow rays ! 

The sad sobbing charm of the moon 

Was that of the face of an ancient fairy. 

The moon gracefully kept her perfect silence 

Until a greater muse shall restore the world 

From demon's sword and unworthy death. 

I was in the lullaby of the moon, 

As a tree snugly wrapped in the mist : 

I lost all my earthly thoughts. 

The moon was voiceless as a nun 

With eyes shining in beauteous grief: 

The mystic silence of the moon 



Under the Moon 39 

Gradually revived in me the Immortality, 

The sorrov/ that gently stirred 

Was melancholy-sweet : sorrow is higher 

Far than joy, the sweetest sorrow is supreme 

Amid all the passions. I had 

No sorrow of mortal heart : my sorrow 

Was one given before the human sorrows 

Were given me. Mortal speech died 

From me : my speech was one spoken before 

God bestowed on me human speech. 

Tiiere is nothing like the moon-night 

When I, parted from the voice of the city, 

Drink deep of Infinity with peace 

I^Vom another, a stranger sphere. There is nothing 

Like the moon-night when the rich noble stars 

And maiden roses interchange their long looks of love. 



40 Vfuicr the Moon 

There is nothini; like the inoon-nii^lit 
When I raise ni}' lace from the land o( loss 
Unto the i;(ilden air. and calmly learn 
] low perfect it is to i^row still as a star. 
There is nothing; like the moon-ni^ht 
When T walk upon the freshest ilews, 
And amid the warmest breezes. 
With all the thouoht o( God 
And .ill the bliss ot man. as Ad.nn 
Not yet dri\'en from IuIcti. and to whom 
Vxc was not >'et born. What a bird 
1 )reams in the moonlight is my dream : 
What a rose sings is ni}' song. 



41 



O MANA SAN 

It was n)aiiy :in<\ Diany n year a|.^o, 

In a ^^ardcn of the cliLrry-bl<'>s.som 

Of a far-rjfr isle you may know 

l\y the fairy name of Nij^pf>n, 

That a inaifien who was (Jressinr:^ lie-r hair 

Aj^ainst tlie mirror of a shininj^ "^prin^, 

Castinj^ over nie her surlden heavenly ^Hancc, 

Kntreate(J me to break a beautiful brancli 

C>f the cherry-tree : I cannf>t forget. 

I was a boy on the way home 

I^Vom my sclior^j ; I thre-w aside 

All my bor>ks and slate, and 1 climUd 

Up the tree, and looked down 

Over Jier little anxious butterfly face : 



42 O liana San 

Oh, how the wind blow fannini^ me 

W^ith a love that was more than earthly love, 

In a i^^ardcn o{ the ehern'-blossom 

Oi a farofif isle )'ou may know 

B\' the fliiry name of Nippon ! 

I broke a branch, slowly dropped it 

To her up-mised hands that Qo^ shaped 

With best art and |.xiin ; she smiled 

Toward me an angel smile ; she, 

Speaking no word, ran away :is a breeze, 

Leavini^ behind the silver evenin^:^ mi>on, 

And liid from me in the shadow o{ a pine-tree 

In a g^arden oi the cherry-blossom 

Of a far-off isle >'ou may know 

\W the fair}' name of Nippon. 

I stole toward her on tiptoe. 



Harm San 43 

As a silent moonbeam to a sleepin^^ flower, 

And frightened her with a shout of ' Mitsuketa wa,'* 

And I ran away from her, smilinj^ and blusliing, 

In a garden of tlie cherry-blossom 

Of a far-off isle yo'i m;iy know 

hy the fairy name of Nii)[)on. 

And I hid me beneath the gate of a temple, 

That was a pathway to the heaveas. 

She stepped softly as the night, 

h'ound me and looked upon me with a smile like a star. 

Tapped my head with the branch, 

Speaking ft^nrlly, ' My sw(jetest one ! * 

I had no answer but a glad laugh 

That was taught by the hapj^y wind 

In a garden of the cherry-blossom 

* ' I found thee out ' in P^nKli«h. 



44 /l^tHit S*iH 

Of a tar-oflfislo \'ou m.w know 

l>v the t"air\- n.uno of Nippon. 

Auvi that iiuidon who was known 

l>y the pix^tt\- name of i.^ 1 lana Nm, 

Kan awa\* i:^n\cofully as a Sprino^ oloiul 

Into tho hoavons. Mushing- and smiling;. 

Then I folKnwxi c^^ Hana's sio[\s. 

Into the hcawns, into the ncalni oi Ion-c 



45 



THK MYOTO* 

The woman wliisf>ercd in tlie voice that roses have lost : 

* My love ! ' 

The m;in said, ' Yes, dear ! ' 

In the voice th'it s<:?is ainncjt utter. 

The woman whispered in tlie voice of velvet-footed moon- 
beams : 

* My love ! ' 

The man said, ' Yes, dear ! ' 

In the voice that mountains keep in bosr>m. 

The woman whispered in the voice of eve callinr,^ the stars to 
appear : 

* My love ! * 

'Myoto ' Lb Japanese for ' coaple ' in Knglbh. 



4<5 



Tke MyoN 



Tho n^.\ii s»\ii! • Vos. ilvwr ! * 

\\\ \\\c \Swc o\ <\.\\\\\ t'vM Spt itiL: .\nvi IJfe* 



rivulet : 
• Kfy low ! * 

Tho nun s.\ivl * Ws. Jo.\r ! * 

In t'\^ voice ot* toix^sts lnl!v^ \\\c <k\' 



47 



7111, (]( )\ )])]■:/:) : (V A't 

TliC ^^<)M<:'-. 'pin', fli': v/ool of tli<: riviil<:t t/> il'» Icrj^^tli : 

O silver '/>u'j of \\\>: r':ni;il<; spinner ! 

O ^olflcn ^i^•n^r: of Hh: rri;il': ',pinnrr ! 

(',<A ',\i\nnm'.\ v/ith iIk: •v'/li':':! of Tim'!, 

WliiU: of diy anrl &.i\V.u<:/. of t}..; ni;;}if. to r:\j:rn\\y. 



46 



BY THE SEA 

The moon came sadly out of a hill ; 

I from the city silently stole : 

Many an hour had passed since I shook 

The sorrow-thoughts to the winds. 

The moon's beautiful cold steps were my steps, 

In silvery peace, apart from paths of men : 

The dewy mysterious beams, as love-whispers, 

Stole in my hair which zephyr stirred 

As cloud ; I was as in the mazy sweet, 

I knew not why. I smiled unto the moon ; 

The moon understood me : the silence was profound. 

On the sea-face unearthly dreams 

And greenly melancholic autumn voicelessly stepped 

The moon threw a large soft smile over the sea. 



By the Sea 49 

The sea was verily proud to sin^ : 

The sea's passions wooing the shore, 

Taught me the secret how to win woman ; 

J^ut the love of woman was left far behind. 

I slowly thought how beautiful to sink 

Into the moon-sea and to rise 

With worshipping face unto the moon : 

A sea-bird suddenly sprung from the wave. 

Scattering sea-pearls with lavish wing. 

I sat me down on the shore, 

With tragic eyes upon the stars, 

With my ears unto the sea : 

The silence of the stars was as great 

As the voice of the sea ; it is so 

Since the First day, that the stars 

Keep the silence and the sea the voice. 



so By the Sea 

I walked with the moon, by the sea, 
Till the dawn : what I thought was tliat 
Tlie moon thought, I knew not what. 



51 



HOMEKOTOBA* 



I hear, O lovely lady, in thy voice, 

The music of a hidden flower valley, 

Anear yet distant ; from thy face 

The beauty of Spring flashes : 

I linger around thee, faithful and ecstatic. 

The murmur of a rose. 

Or of a white star that peeps 

Out of another world of poetry, 

Is the murmur of thy gracious eyes : 

Thine eyes are veiled by the misty breezes. 

Thy lips of infinity are beautifully wet 

* Homekotoba ' means * praising words' 



5*2 }-lo)nckotoba 

With human kisses and with tlic brcatli of life ; 

On thy cheeks bloom the flowers of moonbeams ; 

Thy bosom holds the m}'ster>- of the sky ; 

The laughter of the air is thy laughter. 

The freshness of a sea at morn 

Is like unto thy fragrant thought of woman ; 

A wood with leaves glistening with dewdrops 

And a singing bird are symbols of thy fancy ; 

A flower oi morning prayer is thy upturned look 

Into the sunliglit that, like organ melody, 

Rolls up the vault oi heaven from the cast ; 

On thy hair flutters the gossip of heaven. 

A vision of heavenly beaut\' in a haze 

Is thy lithe form reclining upon the grasses ; 

A lily appearing from the gossamer 

^Is til/ fo.cc looking out from the bewilderment ; 



Homekotoba 53 

Thy soul is a divine complexity 

In which I lose my way as in a dream. 

Thy smile was born in light of summer blessedness ; 

The dark -browed wind in Spring rain is thy melancholy : 

Thy breath is the whisper along a violet road ; 

Thv shadow on my breast is thy heart's history. 

II 

I read, O lovely lady, in thy face 

All the religions of beauty 

(They are nothing else but Tove) ; 

Thy silence musical and commanding 

Is that of a haqj set in the windless air. 

Whenever I see thee my new page of life begins, 

With the moon of another light. 

With the fresh stir of a new field of wealth ; 



54 HoNitkotoba 

If I \\-as not born for ain'thiiii^ else. 

1 was boni w ith owe aim to adore tliee : 

die aim is enough for any life. 

Thy head is tlirust up into the breath of gfods, 

Yet th}' feet on the dandelion around ; 

Kach pool of the sky woos thy beauty. 

Every shadow ot earth-tree gossips of thee ; 

The tancy road o'i thy song I pursue. 

I loiter in the bless<x1 \'ale of thy heart. 

how proud I fc\?l to see th\' fiice 

1 lasting to meet my face, as a flow er 
Hurries to the silken shower o( sunshine ! 
I dare to s;\y that thou art kd 

With m\' praising words lavished o\'er thee : 
I dream in the odour of thy womanhood. 
Since thou belongst me. m\' life begins 



Homekotoba 5 5 

To he very iiTiportant ; I have to walk 

Safely on the clear road of emerald li^ht, 

Safely alon^ the flovver-rinimed path of poesy. 

With tliy hand upon thy bosom, 

I will feel all the mystery of thy love ; 

With my hand upon my brow, 

I ask thee what a confidence thou feelst in me ; 

Casting two shadows on the stream of Life, 

Wc will whistle of the sweet world to the moon. 

Ill 

Thy divinely large eyes, O lovely lady, 
Gaze beyond our world into a hid kingdom 
Of coral-hued beauty and sapphire thought ; 
The fragrance from thy lips which are a rose 
Speaks more than thy golden speech : 



56 Honiekotoba 

The gossamers tarry around thy rose-lips. 

Thou seemst unto nie a v^aporous beauty 

Which I saw upon the Spring seas, 

Laying me down on the silvery sand of the shore, 

With my soul in the song of the seas ; 

I fear that thou mayest vanish any moment : 

What a fear and joy I feel 

In my sacred marriage with thee ! 

The moon marred by clouds is beautiful ; 

Joy mingled with fear has a deeper thrill. 

How often before my lips opened, 

Wishing thy impressive kisses ; 

How often before my hands stretclied, 

Wishing to feel thy deep bosom : 

I ever dreamed of thee amid the breezes, 

Under the shadows of flowers and stars : 



Homekotoba 57 

If my present union with thee be a dream, 
The dream has to be eternal. 
Everything has a silent hour at whiles : 
'Tis sweet to bathe in the silence by thy side ; 
'Tis sweeter to raise the head from the sea-silence, 
And to stare on thy high-born face, 
Like a sea-ear gatherer on the sea-waves 
With eyes turned toward the abandoned shore. 
Then in the stillness of eve (yet stirring- 
Enough to make one s weedy sadj, I 
Bind my body with thine own, and send 
My soul along the road of the Divine Unseen. 

IV 

The soul of flower, O lovely lady, 
Is the soul of poem ; the soul of poem 



53 Home koto ba 

Is thy soul : thou art like a faithful-eyed caravan 

Across the waste, bringing heavenly jewels. 

The winds come from east and west, 

But thy wind of heart only comes from 

The singing woodland of Love. 

The air around thy bosom grows roseate 

By the fire within ; from the ground 

Under thy feet has blossomed a daffodil : 

Thy presence is the presence of Sun. 

My old memory and new dream jauntily come 

Riding on thy eye-flash of pearl : 

Thou art the soul of all the dawns. 

In thy soul I see a brook 

Whose song of silvery happiness I love most, 

Since I tired of iron-buskined song ; 

Thy soul with a far-away voice 



Homekotoba 59 

Like that of an eve of a thousand stars. 

Calls me to a task of high yearning ; 

I see my face in the mirror of thy heart, 

And triumphantly smile, thinking that 

I am thy husband and slave. 

Under the tree-shade I lay me down, . 

And smell thy balsam breath stealing 

Around me like a sweet ancient tale ; 

e 

Upturning my face I draw 

Thy lovely shape in the purple sky : 

Since I love thee, my life grows plain, 

My dream being only to be faithful to thee, 

My toil being only to entertain thee. 

The life of simplicity is the life of beauty : 

With the beauty and with thee I remain forever. 



6o 



UPON THE HEIGHTS 

And victor of life and silence, 

I stood upon the Heights ; triumphant, 

With upturned eyes, I stood, 

And smiled unto the sun, and sang 

A beautifully sad farewell unto the dying day, 

And my thoughts and the eve gathered 

Their serpentine mysteries around me, 

IMy thoughts like alien breezes, 

The eve like a fragrant legend. 

My feeling was that I stood as one 

Serenely poised for flight, as a muse 

Of golden melody and lofty grace. 

Yea, I stood as one scorning tlie swords 

And wanton menace ot the cities. 



upon the Heights 6 1 

The sun had heavily sunk into the seas beyond, 
And left me a tempting sweet and twilight. 
The eve with trailing shadows westward 
Swept on, and the lengthened shadows of trees 
Disappeared : how silently the songs of silence 
Steal into my soul ! And still I stood 
Among the crickets, in the beateous profundity 
Sung by stars ; and I saw me 
Softly melted into the eve. The moon 
Slowly rose : my shadow on the ground 
Dreamily began a dreamy roam, 
And 1 upward smiled silent welcome. 



62 



Out of the tkvp and the dark, 

A s^wrklin^; ni\-stciy. a shaj-X*. 

S.->mothini;- [XMtoct, 

Comes like the stir ot* the day : 

C^ie whost^ breatli is an odour, 

\\'1k\^^ e\"es show the r*.\ui to stars, 

The brec.'e in his face. 

The L^lory of I lea\en on his Kick. 

1 le ste^^s like a vision liun^- in air, 

Diffusing the j^wssion of Ktemity ; 

His abode is tlie suiilii:^ht of mom, 

The masic of eve his s^x\?ch : 

In his sight, 

One shall turn from the dust o( the grave, 

And nK:>\e upward to the \vov.xlland. 



^\3 



THR PACK IN Till-: MIRROR 

' Why do you cry so, dear ]iUle ^irl ? 

Come, dry your tears,' I said, 

' Like a dc-w-bathed butterfly in the sun rays, 

And then tell me of yourself.' 

The ^irl s;jiid : 

' My kind Oanna San, 'twas this mom 

When the breath of Spring blew along the mountiin path, 

That I went up alone to gather wild-flowers, 

And there naughty neighbour's children shouted at me ; 

" I>ook at that dirty motherless girl ! " 

Then I retorted that I had my mother in the mirror, 

And I ran home and I saw the mirror, — 

Alas ! my mother's face was crying, 

Ikcausc I cried. 



64 T/it Face in the Minor 

Then I felt still more sad, 
And cried still more, 
And now still I cr\-.' 
I said to the L^irl : 

* Sweet child, the face in tlie mirror 
Is not \-our mother's, but \-our own.' 
The L^irl tlinging a quick opposing look, 
Impiitientl}' said : 

* So man\' man\' years older than I you are, 
So much more wiser than I you are, 

But, my great lord, you know iiothing of my mirror. 

The face in the mirror is mother's. 

So mother said : 

My dear mother never told a lie. 

The mirror was left me 

When she died, and she said : 



The face in the Mirror 65 

** Whenever you want to see me, 

You'll find me in tlie mirror, 

I a thousand times have looked in it, 

And hidden there my truest face." 

Since then, every eve at dusk, 

When the church bell sounds to me like m(jther's call, 

I hurry to my mirror, 

And I see my mother looking at me.' 

Then I said : 

* Listen, dear little maiden, 

I will adorn your hair with the flowers, 

I will give you money for a new Spring dress, 

And you shall smile, that's a good girl ! 

Aren't you happy ? 

Now look at your mirror, gentle child.' 

The girl looked in the mirror, and joyfully exclaimed : 



66 The Face in the Mirror 

* Mother is happy. 

Because I am happy. 

I'll not cry any more. 

You'll cry no more, my dear mother.* 

Then we lay down in the sunlight, 

With her pretty head on my knee. 

I told many a tale of fairy queens far and near. 

My voice was music to her ears, 

Her head languidly drooped, 

Her innocent sleeping face in the mirror by her side : 

I saw the breezes playing with the tassels of her hair. 



67 



HOW NEAR TO FAIRYLAND 

The spring warmth steals into me, drying up all the tears of 

my soul, 
And gives me a flight into the vastness, — into a floorless, 

unroofed reverie-hall. 

Lo, such greenness, such velvety greenness, such a heaven 

without heaven above ! 
Lo, again, such grayness, such velvety grayness, such an 

earth without earth below ! 
My soul sails through the waveless mirror-seas. 

Oh, how near to Fairyland ! 

Blow, blow, gust of wind ! 

Sweep away my soul-boat against that very shore ! 



68 



LINES 

I love the saintly chant of the winds touching their odorous 

fingers to the harp of the angel Spring ; 
I love the undiscording sound of thousands of birds, whose 

concord of song echoes on the rivulet afar ; 
I muse on the solemn mountain which waits in sound content 

for the time when the Lord calls forth ; 
I roam with the wings of high-raised fantasy in the pure 

universe ; 
CWi, I chant of the garden of Adam and Eve ! 



69 



SPRING 

Spring, 

Winged Spring, 

A laughing butterfly. 

Flashes away, 

Rosy-cheeked Spring, 

Angel of a moment. 

The little shadow of my lover perfumed. 

Maiden Spring, 

Now fades, 

The shadew, 

The golden shadow, 

With all the charm. 

Spring, 

Naughty sweet Springf, 



70 Spring 

A proud coquette, 

Born to laugh but not to live. 

Spring, 

Flying Spring, 

A beautiful runaway, 

Leaves me in tears, 

But my soul follows after. 

Till I catch her. 

Next March. 

Spring, 

Spring ! 



FROM *'THE SUMMER CLOUDS" (1906) 



73 



" Tlic Summer clouds rise in sh;i[x: r>r fantastic peaks." 

I 

Wave, wave, black Iiair of rny J>eauty, wave, anrl wave, 
and show me where the love deepens, and thf: forest silence 
thickeas ; sliow me* where I'eace is burirrj with heavy wings, 
and where hours never {:;rrnv p^ray ! 

Wave, wave, black hair of rny IV-auty, wave, and wave, 
and show me whf.re the shadrjws are j:;old, and the airs are 
honey, show me the heart — joy of Life and world ; wave and 
wave, black hair of rny jjeauty ! 

II 

Touch me with thy ^//t hanr] ;, () Yuki San ! 'I hey arc 
soft as moonbeam > on the sin^^in^ sands, ( ) Yuki San ! 



74 />i'>v IWfus 

Thoy arc .^tft as kisses of the eve. thy sot\ hands ; thoy are 
sort as rivulets over the Spring lands, O Vuki Svin I 

CMi. toueh me a^iain u itli th\- sott liands. (^ Vuki S.ui ! 
I fs^vl the [xission and Vruth o( tori;"otten >ii;"es \\\ tlieir 
touches. (."> Vuki S.in ' I tlvl the soni;s and incense in tlieir 
touches. C") Vuki S>in ! 

Here b>' the scm I sit tVoni dawn till the dusk. C^ Vuki 
S.in ! I dream ot" tliv sott hands. sot\ as sott toam> on 
the laui:^hini;- shorv. l^ Vuki S.\n ! The sun is i;one .\\\<\ the 
sot\ moon is rising, but ne\ei- thy sot't hands ai^^^iin, O Vuki 

Ill 
The rain stop^xxl sudden!}-, when the moon made her 
way in the sk>-. C^ MvX'»n I thou art not the kill ot' tire and 
jxx^try. but thou art the mirror ot* my \j.\d\ Ivauty who 



Prose Poems 75 

irnparts her own TVjauty anH Trutli, flay anrl nf^^lit ! 

J Icn: upon the ^(anicn o^ rosr:s ^ro'v:s arc my I>jfly 
IVauly's r.ivouritf: flowcrsy I stanH. My '-/>ijI ri'/:s from t.Ij': 
oflours anrl carll), anH corrK:'. rJr/-,(; to the n)f>on. () Moon I 
my \ Ji(\y li'.atity's mirror, make my soul and I/>v<: nohlcr 
}>y I^f.auty and 'I ruUi which my I^'idy iicauly irn)>art,',. I 
think only of my Ixidy ii<jaiity wliov: work of life was to 
turn my soul and I/jvc to ^|old. (Jli, where is she, this very 
moment ? 

rv 

Out of the ^^ray forest n^'orcst ? It is the fore-st. Tiut 
I rlouht wliether it was not a shadow) I hear the- f^niy 
voice of a hirrl. C^h, lonely hini, ;irt th''>u still *i;id? Art 
thou still kee{>»in^ comradeship with J>)eath and JJarkness? 
^> am I —a poet rjuietly leaninr^ on tlic wall oi :adncss. 



76 I^ase Pocfns 

1 bum inoonso and pray once in a while. How afraid I 
am to stir up tho air of silence ! Spring" is coniini;- so slow. 
My soul is kissini;- the 1 leart o{ X'oieelessness. 

I hear the i::tay \'oiee o( the bird sinkini; and sitikini^;- 
fir down like a dead leaf Where does it 1:^0 ? It is like my 
soul which stvirttxi somew here without purjv^so. and is s.iilinL;; 
without end. 0\\, where does my soul aim to i^o ? 

And ai;ain 1 hear another gra}' voice oi another bird 
out of the viray forest. 

IVar lonely \'oice. tell me where thou want'st to c[o ! 
Art thou i;oinq; into the silver temple o{ the immortal 
moonlight ? Art thou i^oin^;- into the dusk\- bosom o( the 
Motlier-Rest ? Fra}-. take my soul witli tlKW O comrade ! 

V 

The hap{n- little se>ni:^s i^^o to-\ia\* imder the anns of a 



i'rose Poems yy 

wind : my Iicirt will yo witli llicin, wlicnjvcr \.\v.iy [[(>. As 
the little voices of tht: leaves they p^o, laur^liin^ anr] sinfn'n^. 
Now they are suddenly still, when the wliite* dews fall under 
the stars. Is it not the time for them to hurry to their beds 
in the House of Peace- \)y the mountain flowers? My heart 
will be happy and go with them wherever they go. 

VI 

I hear you call, Pine tree, I hear you upon the hill; by 
the silent [Xjnd where the lotos flowers bloom, I hear you 
call, Pine-tree ! 

Wfuit is it you call, I^ine-tree, when the rains fall, when 
the winds blow, and when the stars appear, wtiat Is it you 
call, I^ine-tree ? 

I hear you call, Pine-tree, but T am blind, and do not 
know how to reach you. Pine-tree. Who will take me to 



78 f\i)Si' IWms 

you. riiio-troc ? 

VII 
Oiit of the cmdlo of i^rcat Silcticc. from under the g^mve 
(do )'ou teel Silence's touch ? ^ the jx>et, the sini;er ot* Seen 
and Unseen, still sin^^s his voiceless soui; — the son^^ of the 
land of shadow and aL;elessness, the soni;- of the land of ^vace 
and nieniory, the son^;- of the land oi Silence and mist ! I 
hear, O poet. th\' new ineKxh" o{ \'o\<zc\c<s\\css, \\\y swtvt 
sonc^ of eternal Sprini; ew. thy sono^ like that oi the moon 
over the land o\ skvp. th\- sonq; o( I k\wen and love ! O 
{.xx^t. thy soui:: tills my ]\eait with sweet unrest and with 
dreams like {.wssin^; clouds ! C^ j.x-'et, thy sono^ comes from 
under the i^ravo — out of the cradle of Silence, like tlie tlowin^: 
tide! 



Prose Poems 79 

VITI 

The Sjjrfn^' field, calnj, ofl(jrous, like the breast r^f 
I leaven, wavin^^ in red and ^reen, like a flowing sea in tunc 
of breeze. A thousand birds, like shijjs, singing of Sjjring 
hope, searching after a joyous life. (O bird-ships on the 
newest sea !) 

" What news, sfjeak, dear ships from another land ? " 

" Only a love message, my lord ! " 

IX 

I and Nature are one in sweet weariness : my sr>ul slowly 
fades into Sleep. Is this earth ? Or I leaven * The summer 
odour sweetcas Nature to dream : the trees and birds murmur 
with a breeze. 

" I am blind, deaf, and alsrj dumb ; I am a traveller 
toward God, alas I without a guide," I ~A.y. 



8o Prose Poems 

Oh, deathlessncss ! (^h, happiness ! I and Summer 
spirits play upon a vast sea ot fancy. 



FROM "PILGRIMAGE" (1909) 



83 

"TllK NKW ART" 

Slic is an art Ocl. rnc call her so) 

]\ung as a web in the air of fx.rfurnc, 

S<>»rt yet vivid, she sways in music : 

fliut what sadness in her s^ituration r^f life \) 

Her music lives in the intensity of ;i moujent, and then dies; 

To her suf^fjestion is life. 

She left behind the f[uest of beauty anr] rjream ; 

Is her own self not the .s<'>»nf^ of rlrcam and beauty it'/:lf? 

(I know she is tired of ideal and [>roblem anrl talk.) 

She is the moth-li^ht playinj.^ on reality's dusk, 

Soon trj die as a savage prey of the moment ; 

She IS a creation of surprise (let riie s;iy s^jj, 

Dancing gold on the wire of imjjulsc. 

Wluit an elf of light and shadow ! 

What a flash of tragedy and bcauly ! 



84 



BY THE ENGAKUJI TEMPLE : MOON NIGHT 

Through the breath of perfume, 
(O music of musics !) 
Down creeps the moon 
To fill my cup of song 
With memory's wine. 

Across the song of night and moon, 

(O perfume of perfumes !) 

My soul, as a wind 

Whose heart's too full to sing, 

Only roams astray . , , 

Down the tide of the sweet night 
(O the ecstasy's gentle rise !) 
The birds, flowers and trees 



By the Engakiiji Temple : Moon Night 85 

Are glad at once to fall 
Into Oblivion's ruin white. 



S6 



TO A NIGHTINGALE 

Creator of the only one song ! 

Triumph, rapture and art thou tellcst 

But with thy self-same word, what mystery ! 

I have a few more songs and dreams than thou, 

(Alas, m>' words not scrxiui:^ at my command !) 

I tremble, hesitate before I sing : 

What carelessness in th>' rush with song, 

Splendour is thine to sing into air, be forgotten ! 

Thou singest out. thou pushest thy song's way, 

Without regard to the others waiting their turns, 

(^Pity the other birds and poets !) 

Wliat a sweet bit of th\' barbarism ! 

I know not technically what thy song means : 

I take thee not onlv for a bird but the poet. 



To a Nightingale 87 

Thou art a rcvoltcr against prosody : 

What a discoverer of the newest language ! 

A man's life and art are disturbed by tliy sc^ng, 

(What exhaustion in thy voice, 

What a feast and sensation of thy life !} 

When thou cliangest liini to become thy kin, — 

A thing'of simplicity and force ; 

Thy song stops, thou fliest away. 

Oh, can thy work be done so swift ? 

Didst thou see thy song's future m him ? 

Thou art suggestion : what a fragment of art ! 



88 



I AM LIKE A LEAF 

The silence is broken : into the nature 

My soul sails out, 
Carrying the song of life on his brow, 

To meet the flowers and birds. 

When my heart returns in the solitude, 

She is very sad, 
Looking back on the dead^pcissions 

Lying on Love's ruin. 

I am like a leaf 

Hanging over hope and despair, 
Which trembles and joins 

The world's imagination and ghost. 



89 



TO THE SUNFLOWER 

Tliou burstest from mood : 

How sad we have to cling to experience ! 

Marvel of thy every atom burning of life, 

How fully thou livest ! 

Didst thou ever tliink to turn to cold and shadow ? 

Passionate liver of sunlight, 

Symbol of youth and pride ; 

Thou art a lyric of thy soaring colour ; 

Thy voicelessness of song is action. 

What absorption of thy life's meaning, 

Wonder of thy consciousness, — 

Mighty sense of thy existence ! 



• • • 



90 

SHADOW 

My soniT is sun^, but a moment . 

The song of voice is merely the body, (the body dies,) 

And the real part of the song, its soul, remains after it is 

sung : 
Yea, it remains in the vibration of thy waves of heart-sea 
Echoing still my song, (O shadow my song threw !) 
In thy heart's thrill I see my far truer and whiter soul, 
And through my soul thou soarest out of thy dust and griefs. 

Spring passed, 

(Spring in roses and birds is merely the body,) 

And I see the greater Spring vO soul-shadow she left !) 

In the Summer forest, luminous in green and dream : 

Oh to be that Spring over the word's Summer valley, 

O shadow I may cast in the after-age, O my shadow of soul , 



91 



THE FANTASTIC SNOW-FLAKES 

Bah ! What fantastic snow-flakes, eh, 
Dancing merrily, ha ! ha ! ha ! 
Lo, their tiny feet raising so ! 

Death is sweet, to be sure, 
Laughing they go to death. 
What delicious teeth, ha ! ha ! ha ! 

Suppose we die together, eh. 
With the snow dying upon a pond ? 
What a fantastic end, ha ! ha ! ha 1 

What a fantastic end to die 

In the dying music of ancient love I 

Behold the snow and music die ! 



52 The Fantastic Snoiv -flakes 

What a coward, ha ! ha ! ha 1 

Are you afraid to die, eh ? 

Still you love a little eaprice e>i worKl ? 

What fantastie snow-tlakes, ha ! ha ! ha ! 
To leave no sorrow and to die ! 
Such a coward, vou mv beloved ! 



93 



GHOST (W Al^YSS 

My dreams rise when the rain falls : the sudden songs 
Flow about my ears as the clouds in June ; 
And the footsteps, lighter than the heart of wind, 
Ikat, now high, then low, befc^re my dream-flaming eyes. 

" Who am I ? " said I. " Ghost of abyss," a Venice re[)lied, 
" Piling an empty stone of song on darkness of night, 
Dancing wild as a fire, only to vanish away." 



94 



AUTUMN SONG 

The gold \'ision of a bird-wind svvays on the silver foam of 

song, 
The oldest song rises again on the Autumn heart of dream. 

The ghost castle of glory is built by the sad magic of Time, 

With the last laughter of sorrow, and with the red tempest o( 
leaves. 

My little soul born out of the dews of singing dawn, 
Bids farewell to the large seas of Life and speech. 



95 



FANTASIA 

Bits of straw and clay and woman's hair, — 

So shall be buildcd my house : 

Oh to lose the world and gain a song ! 

Ixt the clouds flit through the window at the left ; 

The dancer shapeless in pain and pride, 

From the right dance in as a tide : 

A spirit of pagan days, sick in joy, 

That rose at the sound of their stamping feet, 

I'll sing a song tliat makes the seas the hills. 

'Morality begins, I am afraid, where I stojj my song.) 

Rags to roll me in, pieces of dream. 

So with my heart of nocturnal fear ; 

I have chose of the sky red in memory and art. 

Let the stars fall in the garden rose : 



96 Fantasia 

The leaves and my souls in a thousand guises 
Hurry to the ground to build a grave. 



97 



THE TEMPLE BELL 

Trembling in its thousand ages, 

Dark as its faith, 

It wails, hunting me, 

(It's a long time since I lost my faith,) 

Up through the silence with a scorn, 

Heavy but not unkind, 

Out of the dusk of the temple and night 

Into my heart of dusk. 

Hushed after my song of cities played. 

Weary and grey in thought. 

My heart replies to the wail of the bell, 

Slow-bosomed in sadness and faith, 

With my memory rising from dusts, 

Namu a7nida bittsii f Namu ainida butsu ! 



98 

TO THE CICADA 

What a sudden pain of ancient soul, — 

A tear that is a voice, a voice that is a tear ! 

What unforgotten tragedy thou tell est in thy break of heart ! 

Min ini)i, inin, min, iniiu/d/n/iimnimnin . . . . / 

Grey singer of the forest with heart of fire. 
Dost thon cry for the world, or for my love and life ? 
Is thy monotony of voice the tragedy of my song ? 
Mn, min. viin, viin, minmimninviimnin . . . . / 

The soul that reads the sorrow of life knows thy heart : 

Cry till the world and life gain the triumph of death ! 

Let us earn Death through the tragedy of Faith ! 

O singer of sad Faith and only one song, — 

Cry out thy old dream of life and tears ! 

Mm, i?dn, miti, min, minminntininiuTnin . . . . / 



99 



THE LADY OF UTAMARO'S ART 

Too common to say she is the beauty of line. 

However, the line old, spiritualised into odour, 

(The odour soared into an everlasting ghost from life and 

death,) 
As a gossamer, the handiwork of dream, 
'Tis left free as it flaps : 

The lady of Utamaro's Art is the beauty of zephyr flow. 
I say again, the line with the breatli of love. 
Enwrapping my heart to be a happy prey : 
Sensuous ? To some so she may appear, 
But her sensuousness divinised into the word of love. 
To-day I am with her in silence of twilight eve, 
And am afraid she may vanish into the mist. 



100 



THE BUDDHA PRIEST IN MEDITATION 

He is a style of monotony, 

His religion is aloofness, 

Is there any simplicity more beautiful ? 

What a grand leisure in his walk 

On the road of mystery : 

Is there any picture more real, 

More permanent than he ? 

He surrenders against faith : 

He walks on mystery's road, — that is enough. 

He never quests why. 

He feels a touch beyond word. 

He reads the silence's sigh, 

And prays before his own soul and destiny : 

He is a pseud 3n\'m of the universal consciousness, 



The Buddha Priest in Meditation loi 

A person lonesome from concentration. 

He is possessed of Nature's instinct, 

And burns white as a flame ; 

His morality and accident of life 

No longer exist, 

But only the silence and soul of prayer. 



X02 



IN THE INLAND SEA 

Here the waters of ^\^ne with far-off desires, 

Here the April breezes with purple flashes familiar and yet 

forgotten, 
Oh, here the twilight of the Inland Sea ! 
Here I hear a song without a word, 
(Is it the song of my fl>'ing soul ?) 
That's the song of my dream I dreamed a thousand years 

ago, 
Oh, my dream of the fairy world, oh, the beauty of the 

Inland Sea ! 
I sail and sail to-day in this fairy sea, 
(O my heart, hear the sailors' song of life !) 
I sail leaving the welcoming isles far behind, 
(Hear the isles bidding adieu, O my heart !) 



In the Inland Sea 103 

I sail toward the chanting sky. 

O birds with white souls, steer my soul with wliite love, 
Here the sea of my dream, Oh, the beauty of the Inland 
Sea! 



104 



KYOTO 

Mist-born Kyoto, the city of scent and prayer, 
Like a dream half-fading, she lingers on : 
The oldest song of a forgotten pagoda bell 
Is the Kamo River's twilight song. 

The girls, half whisper and half love, 
As old as a straying moonbeam, 
Flutter on the streets gods built, 
Lightly carrying Spring and passion. 

" Stop a while with me," I said. 
They turned their powdered necks. How delicious ! 
" No, thank you, some other time," they replied. 
Oh, such a smile like the breath of a rose ! 



105 



MY LITTLE BIRD 

My little bird, 

My bird born in my Mother's tears, 

She flies, 

Stretching her wings so, 

And from under her wings she drops my Mother's message 

** Come home, l^^lov^ed !" 

Running out from my Mother's bosom. 

My little river. 

She suddenly stopped her song, 

And looking up to the sun, 

She in her ripples flashed my Mother's message : 

" Beloved, come home 1" 



io6 Mf Little Bird 

My roses. 

My little roses grow in my Mother's breath, 

They are sad to-day, / 

Casting their faces down ; 

On their petals I read my Mother's message 

" Come home, Beloved !" 



107 



HER WEAPONS ARE A SMILE AND 
A LITTLE FAN 

Her weapons are a smile and a little fan. 
Sayonara, sayonara . . • 
Her bent neck like that of a stork 
Seeking a jewel of heart in the ground ! 
Her wisdom is folded sweet in her bosom. 
Sayonara, sayonara . . . 
Her flapping robe like a cloud 

That follows a lyric of butterfly ! 

Her song is on her tips of naked feet. 

Sayonara, sayonara ... 

Beat of her wooden clogs 

Playing the unseen strings of love ! 



io8 



MY HEART 

Oh Lord, is it the reflection of my heart of fire ? 

Is it, my Lord, the sunset flashes of the Western sky ? 

Oh Lord, is it the echo of my heart of unrest ? 

Is it, my Lord, the cry of a sea breaking on the sand ? 

Oh Lord, is it the voice of my sorrowful heart ? 

Is it, my Lord, the wail of a wind seeking the road in the 

dark? 
Oh Lord, is it the dripping tears of my heart ? 
Is it, my Lord, the rain carrying tragedy from the Heavens ? 



109 



THE LOTUS WORSHIPPERS 

From dale and hill the worshippers steal 

In whitest robes : yea, with whitest souls. 

They sit around the holy pond, the lotus home, 

Their finger-tips folded like the hushing lotus-buds 

Thrust through the water and twilight, nun-like, 

And they pray (the silent prayer that is higher than the 

prayer of speech). 
The stars and night suddenly cease their song, 
The air and birds begin to stir. 
(O Resurrection, Resurrection of World and Life !) 
Lo, Sun ascending ! The lotus buds flash with hearts parted, 
With one chant " Namu, Amida !" 
The stars disappear, nay, they fall in their hearts. 
The worshippers turn their silent steps toward their homes, 



no The Lofu^ Worshippers 

Learning tliat the stars will fall in their truthful souls, 
And the road of sunlight is the road of prayer, 
And for Paradise. 

Their faces shining under the sun's blessing gold, 
They chant the divine name along the woodland. 



Ill 



LINES 

The sun I worship, 

Not for the light, but for the shadows of the trees he draws : 
O shadows welcome like an angel's bower, 
Where I build Summer-day dreams ! 
Not for her love, but for the love's memory, 
The woman I adore ; 

Love may die, but not the memory eternally green-^ 
The well where I drink Spring ecstasy. 
To a bird's song I listen. 

Not for the voice, but for the silence following after the song : 
O Silence fresh from the bosom of voice ! — 
Melody from the Death-Land whither my face does ever 
turn ! 



112 



THE EASTERN SEA 

I say my farewell to the Western cities ; 

I will return to the Eastern Sea, — 

To my isle kissed first ever b\' the sun, — 

I will now go to my sweetest home, 

And lay there my griefs on a mountain's breast, 

And give all my songs to the birds, and sleep long. 

A wind ma\' stir the forest, I ma\- awake, 

I will whistle my joy of life up to a cloud : 

The life of the cloud will be my life there. 

How tall my lover now will be ! 

She was two inches shorter than I long ago. 

Wlien mid the wistarias the moon-lantern is lit, 

She and I will steal to measure our heights 

By their drooping flowers — drooping calm like peace. 



The Eastern Sea 113 

Should she win, I will pay her my kisses seven : 

I will take her seven kisses if I win : 

So all the same the kisses shall be mine. 

Then we will walk by the idols — the saint's and the poet's, 

And assure them that Life is but Love ; 

With Love and chrysanthemum I will remain forever. 



U4 



TO A SPARROW 

Sudden ghost 

That danced out again from the shadow and rest, 

Hunter of the memory and colour of thy last life, 

Dost thou find the same humanity, the same dream ? 

Consecrator of every moment, 

Holder of the genius for living, 

Thy one moment might be our ten years : 

Does it tempt, console and frighten thee ? 

Ghost of nerve, 

If thy voice be curse, 

It is with all thy soul. 

If it be repentance, 

It is with all thy body. 

Oh, would that I could relish the same sensation as thou ! 



lis 



RIGHT AND LEFT 

The mountain green at my right : 
The sunh'ght yellow at my left : 
The laughing winds pass between. 

The river white at my left : 
The flowers red at my right : 
The laughing girls go between. 

The clouds sail away at my right : 
The birds flap down at my left : 
The laughing moon appears between. 

I turned left to the dale of poem ; 
I turned right to the forest of Love : 
But I hurry Home by the road between. 



ii6 



IN JAPAN BEYOND 

Do you not hear the sighing of a willow in Japan, 
(In Japan beyond, in Japan beyond) 
In the voice of a wind searching for the sun lost, 
For the old faces with memory in eyes ? 

Do you not hear the sighing of a bamboo in Japan, 

(In Japan beyond, in Japan beyond) 

In the voice of a sea urging with the night, 

For the old dreams of a twilight tale ? 

Do you not hear the sighing of a pine in Japan, 
(In Japan beyond, in Japan beyond) 
In the voice of a river in quest of the Unknown, 
For the old ages with gold in heart ? 



In fapafi Beyond 1 1 7 

Do you not hear the sicrhing' of a reed in Japan, 
(In Japan beyond, in Japan beyond) 
In the voice of a bird who long ago flew away, 
For the old peace with velvet-sandalled feet ? 



ii8 



CRADLE SONGS 

1 

Sleep, my love, your way of dream 

By the fireflies shall be lighted, 

That I gather from the heart of night. 

Your father is off, good night, 

To buy the honey from the stars : 

The city of stars is away a hundred miles. 

But by the dawn he will return, 

Riding on the horse of the dews, 

For you, with a drum as big as the sun. 



Cradle Songs 119 

II 

The flowers are nodding 

Above your head ; 

The flowers are made with sorrows seven, 

And laughters three which are the best. 

The sorrows seven your mother keeps, 
(Mother's way is that of pain,) 
But the laughters three make you fair and gay, 
I rock you, fairy boat on the tide of love. 

Sleep, my own, till the bell of dusk 
Bring the stars laden with a dream ; 
With that dream you shall awake 
Between tlie laughters and song. 



/ 



FROM "JAPANESE HOKKUS " (1920} 



123 



JAPANESE HOKKUS 

I 

What is life ? A voice, 

A thought, a light on the dark,- 

Lo, crow in the sky. 

II 

Sudden pain of earth 
I hear in the fallen leaf. 
*' Life's autumn," I cry. 

Ill 

The silence-leaves from TJfe, 
Older than dream or pain, — ■ 
Are they my passing ghost ? 



124 Japanese Hokkus 

IV 

Is it not the cry of a rose to be saved ? 

Oh, how could I 

When I, in fact, am the rose ! 

V 
But the march to Life , . • 
Break song to sing the new song ! 
Clouds leap, flowers bloom. 

VI 
Fallen leaves ! Nay, spirits ? 
Shall I go downward with thee 
By a stream of Fate ? 

VII 
Speak not again, Voice ! 
The silence washes off sins : 
Come not again, Light ! 



Japanese Hokkus 125 

VIII 

It is too late to hear a nightingale ? 

Tut, tut, tut, . . . some bird sings,— 

That's quite enough, my friend. 

IX 
I shall cry to thee across the years ? 
Wilt thou turn thy face to respond 
To my own tears with thy smile ? 

X 
Where the flowers sleep, 
Thank God ! I shall sleep, to-night. 

Oh, come, butterfly ! 
XI 

My Love's lengthened hair 

Swings o'er me from Heaven's gate : 

Lo, Evening's shadow ! 



126 JapaJiese Hokkus 

XII 

Is there anything new under the sun ? 

Certainly there is. 

See how a bird llies, how flowers smile ! 



Criticisms of Mr. Noguchrs Works 

He is a poet whose flame has been so scrupulously tended as to flicker 
with the slightest breath. He is as many-mooded as the combinations 
between sunshine and shadow. His poetry actually is the thing that has 
induced a mood in him, trimmed of all that he had had to remove for 
himself, and so made into something between nature and that pure elava- 
tion of mind from which Noguchi feels. This quality of pure tlame like 
emotion -is common to all his poems, extraordinarily various as they are. 

— Arthur Bansome in The Forfni'jhtly Review. 

Criticism, in the usual sense, seems a cumbrously concrete form of ap- 
preciation of such rainbow tints and perfumed whispers as make, for tlie 
most part, Mr. Noguchi's poems. A vivid Autumn leaf carried on the 
wind, a handful of rose petals, "a straying moonbeam" for these we 
need equally delicate exclamations — exclamations which have an added 
charm of naivetd from being made in a language which he still writes, I 
am glad to say, with a Japanese accent. I hope he will never lose that. 

— KiCHARD Le Galliexne in The Neio York Timcfi. 

The spirit of his poetry is at once wistful and complacent— a curious 
blending of the cynical with the aspiring -and bears tokens of certain 
Western influences. — Tha Athenreum. 

Out of the many colours comes a rainbow. Some of Mr. Noguchi's 
verses seem to us to be fine poetry— authentic, but not to be classified 

— The Spectilor, 

It is enough to prove that Mr. Noguchi is a poet, for it contains only 
simple, familiar words, and without straining any of them it combines 



them in a way that gives a shock of astonishing loveliness. — TTie JJaibj 
Chronicle 

They certainly seem to show that the Japanese genius can put on a 
Western language as easily as a Western civilisation. There is great 
facility of language, with a quaint exotic giace — The St. James's Gazelle. 

It has real suggestion and mystery. — 2%6 Academy. 

Yone Noguchi, writing in English, has the equipment of the poet born 
in a golden clime. — Vanify Fair. 

I find atmosphere, and charm, and colour, and naivete, and the true 
touch of the poet — William Sharp. 

Your poems are another instance of the energy, mysteriousness, and 
poetical feeling of the Japanese, from whom we are receiving much 
instruction.- George Merkdith. 

They are full of a rich sensr^ of beauty, and ideal sentiment. In fact . 
the essential excellence of the poems and the particular quality of their 
excellence surprise me.— William !M. IIosspjtti. 

You have been remarkably successful in coveying that sentiment of 
poetical reverie wjiich you desire to produce. — Dr Richard Garnett. 

I am much attracted by the novel metaphors and qualifying words 
which often are full of beauty, the luxuriance of phrase suggesting beds 
of Eastern flowers under the moonlight. '—Thomas Hardy. 

They are really poems, really poetry. — Mrs. Meynell. 



JAPANESE HOKKUS 

BY 
YONE NOGUCHI 

$ 2.00 net 

" * Japanese Hokkus ' is remarkable for at least 
two reasons : one, because its poems are of that 
sensitive and illusive loveliness that is rare in the 
realism of contemporary publications, and, another, 
because the book links the literature of the Orient 
and the Occident rather more than any other poet 
whom we recall — certainly in a greater degree than 
Rabindranath Tagore — and proves a compelling 
experiment where it might have been a possible art 
misfortune." — k. B. in the Boston Transcript, 

THE FOUR SEAS COMPANY 
BOSTON 



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